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Subharmonics
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Subharmonics
witchbutter
Several VCOs out there have built in sub osc circuits that make it easy to create a bass sound in a subtractive way, such as Erica Varishape. While this sounds good, what are some other ways to deal with a sub osc?

I have used an octave switcher/adder to drop the 1v/octave signal so that you simply play lower notes, as well as used the frequency/tuner on the osc to lower octaves. Are there sub osc devices that just create sub bass harmonics? Are there caveats to doing that?
Triglav
witchbutter wrote:
Several VCOs out there have built in sub osc circuits that make it easy to create a bass sound in a subtractive way, such as Erica Varishape. While this sounds good, what are some other ways to deal with a sub osc?

I have used an octave switcher/adder to drop the 1v/octave signal so that you simply play lower notes, as well as used the frequency/tuner on the osc to lower octaves. Are there sub osc devices that just create sub bass harmonics? Are there caveats to doing that?


Look into the Serge subharmonic patch. It can be done with most VCS/DUSG based modules. (Maths, Rampage, 171-2)

Dave Peck
It sounds like you are interested in 'frequency divider' modules. Also sometimes referred to as 'clock divider' modules. They take an input waveform and produce an output waveform that is an octave lower (or two octaves, or three, or a combination). This output is usually not the same waveform as the input waveform, it is usually a simple square wave, which you can then filter or process in other ways to alter the sound. Try checking on modulargrid.net and do a search for 'frequency divider' modules.

FYI, if you happen to have a 'Logic Flip Flop' module and a Sample/Hold module, you can make your own sub-octave generator that will create a square wave one octave lower than the input waveform.
soggybag
I'm not up to speed on newer modules. Older subharmonic generators are usually clock dividers. These require squaring up the input. So the subharmonics end up being square waves.

I have a couple of the Blacet Frequency Dividers. These provide /1, /1.5, /2, and /3. Plus a mix.

The /1 sounds weird but it's a square up version of your input.

The /1.5 is also interesting since this is a perfect 5th. Beefs the sound in a nice way. I can't recall how the circuit accomplishes this. I seem to think it was done with some XOR tricks.
PhineasFreak
and then theres the beast of em all - the doepfer subharmonic generator:

one in, four programmable patterns of saw and squares out in ineger numbers down to like 20 or something....

but its hue, expensive and deep.
calaveras
I use the WMD Invert/Offset and it's comparator out as a sub generator sometimes.
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/wmd-invert-offset-mk2

The cool thing is that while the output is indeed a square (or pulse). The inputs can be anything.
MRoyce
Distings Clockable LFO can be used as a subharmonic VCO, as it can divide the input down and put out a morphable ramp/tri/saw and square.
luketeaford
You can do it with a sequential switch clocked at audio rate by patching one waveform and leaving the others empty.

You can do it with the Serge NCom I think easiest of all.
Navs
It depends on the desired result, but you could do it the other way round too:

hard-sync two VCOs, set the desired interval but consider the slave to be the fundamental and the master to be the subharmonic, mix.
kindredlost
I use the Ken Stone CGS01 "Sub Oscillator/Harmonic Sequencer" by Cat Girl Synth. It has the added benefit of two independent sub oscillators which when combined can be used in multiplier ring modulation mode and pre-scaled harmonic divisions of 3, 5 and 7. As it is the classic divider circuitry, it's outputs are square wave. One output is normal and the other is inverted.

It can be used for pattern generating as well in a sort of step sequencer manner where two inputs are summed and split at the outputs for voltage stepped sources. When these are sent to a vco or filter the results are somewhere between and arpeggiator and step sequencer.

A cool idea is to tune the input vco to a 5th above the root you are wanting to play and switching the prescale to 3 so the output plays the root along with a mix of the input. The use of both sub oscillators results in a
single note chord similar to the chord feature on some poly keyboards except this is ring modulated for a fatter sound.

https://www.cgs.synth.net/modules/cgs01_subosc.html
oberdada
Speaking of Ken Stone, the tube VCA with some feedback produces subharmonics, at least the suboctave, octave and a fifth and double octave.

It's typical for many nonlinear dynamic systems to have subharmonic cascades to chaos, so you can find this behaviour in lots of modules.
witchbutter
Wow that is a ton of good ideas. Thanks everyone.

I have a few distings so I think I'll try that method first. I've seen the Serge NCOM which seems to be easy to use but quite a few HP. The Doepfer Subharmonic isn't fitting in my case or anyone else I know for that matter, but if there was someway to get that daughterboard to not stick straight backwards, that seems to be exactly what I was imagining.

The frequency divider approach seems good, it just might be more complicated to control what you are getting and switching it on the fly. I wonder if an the new Erica Pico Logic modules can do it in the division mode, since those are really small.
PhineasFreak
i just got a 2hp div this morning - 2 channels of anywhere from /16 to x16 both cv controlled

it allows full dynamic chords to be played and varied quite qildly...
witchbutter
PhineasFreak wrote:
i just got a 2hp div this morning - 2 channels of anywhere from /16 to x16 both cv controlled

it allows full dynamic chords to be played and varied quite qildly...


So what about a 1.5 division? I would really like to be able to get perfect 5ths.
PhineasFreak
witchbutter wrote:
PhineasFreak wrote:
i just got a 2hp div this morning - 2 channels of anywhere from /16 to x16 both cv controlled

it allows full dynamic chords to be played and varied quite qildly...


So what about a 1.5 division? I would really like to be able to get perfect 5ths.


sadly no 1.5 - but it does 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,16 x and /
nikmis
how about a resonant high pass filter with the resonance set about midway, cutoff set very low, boosting the low frequencies?
calaveras
nikmis wrote:
how about a resonant high pass filter with the resonance set about midway, cutoff set very low, boosting the low frequencies?

That would not synthesize any new frequency. It would just reinforce the low end of the timbre. Probably sound great on a bass line.
justintonation
witchbutter wrote:


The Doepfer Subharmonic isn't fitting in my case or anyone else I know for that matter, but if there was someway to get that daughterboard to not stick straight backwards, that seems to be exactly what I was imagining.



This link shows you how to modify the doepfer a-113 to make it more slim line.
https://electricmusicfox.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/the-subharmonic-sand wich/
governor blacksnake
The Lider Suboctave creates (through analog means) a one-octave-down signal that sounds suspiciously like the original signal, no square waves.
GlitchPatcher
You can create Subharmonics with any Oscillator and a Make Noise Maths

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Qw7ZSLrHtM&list=PLpXa2PhPFRvVSdm4gmxf QxIxw7gQ9g5Wu

thumbs up
Superaction80
I was hoping someone would chime in about the Blue Lantern subharmonic generator. I just ordered one based on the one video I found of it. Sounds pretty cool.
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